ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan assured Afghanistan’s interim Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi that Islamabad in the “current context” would “favourably consider” its Afghan brothers “request” to transport wheat offered by India via Pakistan.
“Prime minister conveyed that in the current context Pakistan would favourably consider the request by Afghan brothers for transportation of wheat offered by India through Pakistan on exceptional basis for humanitarian purposes and as per modalities to be worked out,” said the premier’s office in a series of tweets.
The office said that the assurance was made when the interim Afghan foreign minister called on PM Imran Khan. The Afghan diplomat was accompanied by acting ministers for finance as well as industry and commerce and other senior members of the delegation.
During the meeting, the PM reaffirmed Islamabad’s “support to Afghanistan and the Afghan people in overcoming the dire challenges” they face. The vital importance of a peaceful, stable, sovereign, prosperous and connected Afghanistan for Pakistan and the region was also stressed by the PM, said PMO.
The premier underlined that “continued security and resolute counter-terrorism actions, respect for rights of all Afghans, and inclusivity in governance and politics would further contribute to Afghanistan’s stability”.
PM Imran hoped that the interim Afghan government will keep on “constructively” engaging the “international community” and take “positive” steps to “address the prevailing challenges”.
“Pakistan has been consistently calling for provision of immediate humanitarian relief for Afghanistan,” said PM Imran. The urgent need to release Afghanistan’s frozen assets and facilitation of banking transactions to prevent an economic meltdown was also underscored.
The premier also reiterated Islamabad’s resolve to stand with the Afghan people by extending all possible support including humanitarian assistance-in-kind to withstand the coming winter season.
“In addition to the assistance already extended, the prime minister stated that Pakistan would provide essential food items including wheat and rice, emergency medical supplies, and shelter items for Afghanistan,” said PMO.
PM Imran also emphasised the importance for the two countries to work together for the facilitation of movement of people, trade, transit and regional connectivity for promotion of progress and prosperity in the region.
On the other hand, Afghan foreign ministry spokesperson Abdul Qahar Balkhi shared that the Afghan foreign minister had requested the PM Imran Khan for “further facilitation at Torkham, Chaman crossings and for Afghan trade goods’ transit to Pakistan ports”.
“H.E. Imran Khan pledged that Afghan transit via Pakistan would be significantly facilitated, Indian assisted wheat allowed to reach Afghanistan via Wagah port as well as visa services facilitated, adding that he would help pave the way for continued humanitarian aid, in resolving existing political challenges on international stage and attracting humanitarian assistance,” tweeted Balkhi.
Afghan delegation reaches Islamabad for Troika Plus meet
A high-level ministerial delegation of the Taliban government led by the interim Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi arrived in Islamabad o Wednesday for the Troika Plus meeting.
Adviser for Commerce and Investment to Prime Minister Razak Dawood along with other dignitaries had received the delegation.
The Troika Plus meeting was held a few days after Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi visited Kabul.
Pakistan is hosted the Troika Plus meeting with special representatives and envoys for Afghanistan from China, Russian, the US and the Afghan government attending the moot.
“Pakistan attaches high importance to the Troika Plus mechanism on the situation in Afghanistan,” a statement issued by the Foreign Office earlier said.
“Pakistan hopes that deliberations of the Troika Plus meeting would contribute to the ongoing efforts for achieving lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan,” it added.